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Óscar Arias visits prosecutor’s office, declines specific comments on allegations

February 13, 2019

Óscar Arias, who in the span of 48 hours last week was accused of alleged sexual assault and misconduct by five women, appeared in public Wednesday morning when he visited the Office of the Deputy Prosecutor for Gender to respond to criminal complaints filed against him.

Arias briefly spoke to assembled media but declined to comment specifically on the two criminal complaints that were filed in Costa Rica’s judicial system last week.

“You know that over the last 50 years, I have always answered questions on any subject and I have always had a very cordial relationship with journalists,” Arias told reporters. “But on this occasion, my defense attorney has said that what is most appropriate, given that these two cases are in the Office of the Prosecutor, that I not refer to them.

“So I ask you to have that understanding.”

The summons were in response to a criminal complaints filed last Monday by doctor and nuclear-disarmament activist Alexandra Arce von Herold, and last Thursday by Yazmin Morales, who was Miss Costa Rica in 1994.

Arce alleged Arias had groped, kissed and penetrated her with his fingers in 2014. Her criminal complaint, which was published last Tuesday in Semanario Universidad and The New York Times, prompted other women to publicly report their own accusations.

According to the daily La Nación, Morales went to the prosecutor’s office Wednesday morning to expand upon details of her criminal complaint.

Arias is a former two-term president of Costa Rica and a Nobel Laureate for his work in promoting peace throughout Central America.

He had previously “categorically” rejected Arce’s accusations and said he had “never acted in a manner disrespecting the will of any woman.”

Katherine Stanley, Managing Editor of The Tico Times, worked in the Office of the President during Oscar Arias’ second presidency and provided English-language speechwriting services for Arias. She has recused herself from all reporting and editorial decisions for any story involving Arias, including this one.


This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.

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